[Grok-dev] Re: Keeping indexes up to date

Martijn Faassen faassen at startifact.com
Mon Aug 13 07:59:30 EDT 2007


On 8/12/07, Philipp von Weitershausen <philipp at weitershausen.de> wrote:
> Martijn Faassen wrote:
> > Philipp von Weitershausen wrote:
> >> This data may be persisted by the ZODB and the ZODB may have ways to
> >> find out which attributes changed, but this is rarely enough
> >> information for an IObjectModifiedEvent (remember, this event contains
> >> information about which fields of which schema were changed).
> >
> > IObjectModifiedEvent doesn't have to contain this information, right?
> This is a matter of intepretation. I think it should always contain this
> information, especially if you can actually easily determine what
> changed exactly. zope.formlib and zope.app.form unfortunately don't do
> this. I've filed a bug report, but haven't done anything about it yet.
> At least I've made sure grok.formlib sends all the information.

Why do you think it should always send this information? In a later
response you say the indexing story doesn't need the information. In
fact, if I read the code correctly, this information is completely
ignored by the catalog.

> > The minimum case is just to say the object changed, and that's it.
> Yes, but there are lots of ways an object can change. Indexing can
> likely be an expensive operation (e.g. indexing lots of text in a
> unicode attribute), so it would make sense to have this extra
> information so that expensive stuff can be skipped.

But nothing inside of Zope that we know of actually makes any use of
this information, right? So taking all this care is currently actually
useless in practice, and in my mind, even potentially harmful as you
can introduce buggy code, think it works, and not have any feedback
that you're wrong. *If* anything then later on starts making use of
this information, your code is very likely to be broken anyway.

> > I think asking "why don't ObjectModifiedEvents get sent by the
> > persistence layer where possible?" is a good question and we should
> > ponder it a little bit more.
> We should certainly document it clearly that ZODB persistence gives you
> a lot of transparency, but not that kind of transparency with the event
> framework and the indexing machinery.

So, why is it a bad idea for ZODB persistence to send
ObjectModifiedEvents? (if it sends only one per transaction if the
object changed)

You have given some potential answers:

* the ObjectModifiedEvent can't then include which attributes changed.
Since this doesn't appear to be tracked anything, I don't see this is
as a current practical blocker.

* the ZODB is deliberately dumb about this and this would break this
philosophy. This is a philosophical argument. If it's very practical
to break this philosophy, why not do it? Any pragmatic objections
against breaking this philosophy?

* the ObjectModifiedEvent will need to be sent in some other cases
(such as for annotations or other relations between objects that
affect index state but not object state). This is the strongest
argument I've heard so far - people might be misled into thinking they
don't need to send them, so perhaps it should never be sent. That
said, people are currently also misled into thinking they don't need
to send them - the origin of this thread. Why can't the ZODB send this
event if the form framework can?

I can think some more arguments:

* in some cases, the object state changes but the index state doesn't.
The application designer can know this, and then not send the
ObjectModifiedEvent to avoid performance issues. I'm not sure how
strong this argument is - how often does this situation occur in
practice? Isn't it misleading to have an object being modified without
an event being sent?

* automatically sending the modified event means the framework makes
some choices for you that the developer can't opt out of anymore. Zope
3 is all about not forcing people into choices. True, but Grok on the
other hand is about making people's life easier by taking some choices
out of their hands.



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